Good lyrics can take a good song to the next level! While some artists underestimate the power of well crafted lyrics, others feel like their lyric writing is never good enough! But really what makes “good” lyrics to begin with?
Here are 5 tips to help you re-evaluate your song lyrics
1) Be sparse
Sometimes, especially as a beginning songwriter, we tend to tell too much! While some songs live on dense lyrics, most songs require room for imagination. So here’s our tip: Cross out every word you do not need. We often tend to think too complicated when crafting song lyrics. Train yourself in shortening 9 word sentences to 4 or 5 words, or 5 words to three. It takes some practice, but you´ll get the hang of it soon and it will make your lyrics much more catchy!
2) Rhyme and reason
A little goes a long way! This should be simple: Do not rhyme too much. Especially, do not use perfect rhymes all the time. If you do implement rather obvious rhymes, then put them in not so obvious spots (internal rhymes are a nice idea to create movement and speed for example).
3) Language – Be simple, but original
A lot of times, as we set out to writing lyrics, we think we have to be very poetic and sophisticated in the way we play with words. That is not true necessarily. Depending on your genre, the opposite may be true! Popular music often builds on simple, relatable language. That does not mean, your lyrics should be boring or predictable though! Try to say things your way but in ways that people understand.
For example, instead of saying “Your love aches”, you can say something like “Your love has spikes”. Still simple, but kind of playing with imagery.
4) Change Perspectives
Try shifting your narrative a couple of times before making a final decision on how the story is meant to be perceived. Switch from 1st person narrative to second or third person narrative and see how that changes the storyline! You may even go so far as to write from an opposite perspective then you started writing. Try playing around with the songs. See what works best. Tip: Usually second person perspective results in rather strong songs, as they are very direct!
5) Leave things unsaid!
Let´s compare lyric writing to storytelling within a movie. You may want to film a scene to set the mood, but you may not want to explain every scene! Some things just serve human imagination. The undisclosed gaps in a piece of music, are the spots where listeners turn from observer to participant!
This tip is similar to the first one we mentioned, where we asked you to say things with fewer words. Except this time, we urge you to not say certain things at all! Be bold and keep things undisclosed! It works wonders if applied moderately!
I hope you liked these lyric writing tips! If you did, please leave a comment!
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